The downsides to running barrels. - Page 3

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The downsides to running barrels.

This is a discussion on The downsides to running barrels. within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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        01-30-2010, 07:32 PM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
    I think the most damage is to thier head. Most riders spur spur spur then they haul back on the reins and then as the horse is trying to slow down they spur spur spur again. The worst part of barrel racing is putting up with barrel racers. Even bull riders won't put up with some of it.

    I agree very much with Kevin on this.

    Also I would like to add that most people believe that your horse can just up and become a barrel racer by running a pattern.

    You need a solid foundation and grasp of not only the physical but mental and emotional effects on the horse.

    Not only does your horse need to be able to rate and move individual parts of its body almost without notice, he must be able to enter and exit the arena with a cool focused head.

    Very little training for barrels should be done near a barrel pattern or even an arena.

    To keep a horse mentally sound and emotionally cool, it is best to spend 98% of your time away from an arena and pattern. Lots of field and trail work are great for a barrel horse, it teaches him balance.

    Your horse must have the heart to run, otherwise he can become very burnt out very quickly. If you feel you have to whip and kick him to get him to do his best he does not need to be racing.

    I could go on and on and on about why most people fail at barrel racing(failure in my book is not laying the proper foundations that make the horse wear unnecessarily both mentally and physically, it is not understanding the concepts required for a happy healthy barrel horse, it is selfishly wanting to follow your "barrel dreams" with little regard to the well being and suitability of your horse), and would be happy to if you would like to pm me.
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        01-30-2010, 07:45 PM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by PaintsPwn    
    As far as staying away from a pattern - what hell is that going to do? Nothing. You need to walk and trot and lope that pattern a lot so you know where your horse needs to go to find his pocket. Not only does the slow work make them chill out and think, it also lets them know that just because there's a barrel, doesn't mean we're going to run around it.
    Horses have amazing memory and only really need to learn a pattern 2 or 3 times long after they have been in training learning the proper aides necessary to run a successful pattern.

    Even too much walk/trot can sour a horse and make them make up their own ideas of how to run the pattern.

    Ask any competent barrel racer you see not beating the crap out of their horse through the pattern and jerking on their head and they will tell you the mostly ride trails and maybe a few figure 8's and such while on the trails to keep them in shape and moving properly.
        01-30-2010, 11:06 PM
    Green Broke
    Originally Posted by Honeysuga    

    Ask any competent barrel racer you see not beating the crap out of their horse through the pattern and jerking on their head and they will tell you the mostly ride trails and maybe a few figure 8's and such while on the trails to keep them in shape and moving properly.
    This is my trainer

    We will not be running my horse through barrels, it's not for him mentally or physically. My trainer has a TB (I want to say TBX) who LIVES to run, and is very competitive even in the field.

    We will see if my training progresses on an already finished older reining horse and if things work out, then maybe in a season or few we will attempt to compete.
        01-30-2010, 11:15 PM
    I think you should try any and all things with Thunder , you sound like you have a very good trainer , full of knowledge...
    I only did barrels as a child at some local fun shows so I can't offer you any advice.
    Thunder and Radar seem so much a like , I live in a prod. English riding comm. H/J & Dressage and I have been told that Radar would be a great dressage prospect : )
        01-30-2010, 11:26 PM
    Green Broke
    Good luck free_sprtd! Be safe and have fun! You sound like you have a great trainer and should have a great time as a barrel racer in training!
        01-31-2010, 12:31 AM
    Green Broke
    Thank you so much!!!

    I still do a double take everytime I see Radar!
        01-31-2010, 02:07 AM
    Most disciplines are warped in the show ring, when the shows transition from fun and training to money prizes and big titles. Dressage has rollkur, TWH shows have soring, jumpers have chili-pepper drugging etc. I am not familiar with barrels so I won't pretend to be, but when I watch some of these competitors I just see someone stabbing into their horse with spurs and jamming on their mouth in a way that makes my light-contact-on-the-snaffle-seat-aids-self have a miniature heart attack. However, I also know a barrel racer who isn't competition driven who is a pretty good rider. She only does actual barrel patterns once or twice very two weeks, the other times she is doing trail rides, reining, and more. I suppose it is the same as jumping: You only want to use the obstacles once a week. I would encourage you to look into non-competitive barrel racing before making up your mind because like I said before, many show rings give a mutated and exaggerated form of the actual discipline.
        01-31-2010, 09:03 AM
    Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
    Martha josey is one of the few barrel racers that might fall in the category of horseman. It would pay to watch her videos or attend a clinic.
    Hey now, I can't agree with that. Who do you think makes up "team josey"? ... OTHER barrel racing trainers. What about Sherry Cervi? She focuses SO MUCH on the basics. She is a beautiful rider and a talented trainer. And Kassie Mowry? Same... Started off her riding career in dressage. Very knowledgable and talented.
    Perhaps a more local level is needed? I personally started barrel racing under the instruction of a VERY talented woman. Very traditional in her methods but understood the horse. Very in tune with how to communicate what she wanted to do. She was the initial shove to inspir me to become a GOOD barrel racer and a great rider.

    There will always be the backyard riders who ruin the image of the sport... it's often hard to see beyond them but it's important to remember to recognize the hard work of the "horseman" out there. They are the people who strive for excellence not only in the competition pen, but on every other level of riding as well.
        01-31-2010, 04:10 PM

    There's was an article in the December issue of Horse and Rider bout keeping a barrel horse(or an horse)sound. I'll try to find it online. It was really really good and informative.
        01-31-2010, 05:59 PM
    Green Broke
    Ooh I would love to read it! Thank you :)

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